Most Asian markets ended marginally higher amid cautious trade Wednesday as traders await cues from today’s EU meeting, which is expected to come with a tangible solution for the euro zone debt crisis. Overnight in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 1.7 percent at 11,706.62.
In the commodity markets, gold futures moved up, with gold for December delivery adding $17.10 to $1,717.50 an ounce. Meanwhile, crude for December edged up $0.37 to $93.54 a barrel. Yesterday, the API said U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.71 million barrels and gasoline stocks were up by 153,000 barrels in the week ended October 21. Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to rise by 200,000 barrels and gasoline stocks to dip by 1.25 million barrels last week.
Chinese shares extended gains for a third session after Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will fine-tune its economic policies as needed, cementing speculation the central bank may pause interest-rate increases. Traders hoped for lower the reserve-requirement ratio for small-and medium-size banks before the year-end and cut interest rates in the second quarter next year
The Shanghai Composite index added 16.54 points or 0.69 percent to 2,426.22. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 98.34 points to 19066.54.
Developers China Vanke Co. and Poly Real Estate Group Co. rose nearly 4 percent each on hopes of halt in further interest rate hikes.
China’s biggest cement maker, Anhui Conch gained over 2 percent after recording a 125 percent jump in its third quarter net income.
The Japanese market edged down, with the Nikkei average losing 13.84 points to 8,748.47.
Game maker Nintendo Co. shed over 4 percent amid reports that the company will report a wider loss. Optical equipment company Olympus Corp. dropped over 7 percent after being placed on a watch list by the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, electronic parts maker TDK Corp. advanced over 8 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. recommended the shares.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained 14.60 points to 4,242.50 led by big miners. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Shares in New Zealand ended flat, with the The NZX 50 Index edging up 0.61 points to to 3296.98. New Zealand Experience Ltd and Pumpkin Patch Ltd were up close to 10 percent each, while Millennium & Copthorne Hotels shed 5 percent.
The South Korean market edged up, with the benchmark Kospi gaining 5.66 points to 1,894.31. Markets in Singapore and Malaysia were closed for the Deepavali holiday.